I start the beginning of the school year talking about real-life math out of the gate. I wanted to let everyone know how I approach it and what I do.
The first day for me is all about rules and procedures, but I try to also throw in a discussion about how I’m not really here to teach them when they will use all the math they will learn this year in their lives - because truthfully they will not (I will post more on this sometime), but rather I plan on showing them how we can use math to learn more about things that we are interested in.
Last year I used my LeBron’s 2010 Decision lesson to first illustrate this because the math is pretty basic and won’t overwhelm anyone on the first day of school. It allows for a little bit of discussion per the previous paragraph, while still being able to keep a very structured first day.
The next day I used the Fractions With a Basketball Superstar lesson to further this point which drove up engagement further and allowed us to expand on the previous discussion. I also use this time to walk students through a normal daily routine with this lesson being where the normal instruction would be. It also allows us to go over group procedures among other things.
I like this approach because it gives students a taste of what is to come. The only down side is that it is a little basketball/LeBron heavy. I used this approach last year with great success and so far am planning to do something similar unless I have any flashes of inspiration... we’ll see and I’ll keep you posted!